The first class compartment of the December 1935 departure of the Orient Express from Istanbul is full, unusual for this time of the year. Regardless, famed and fastidious Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who needs to get back to London immediately, is able to secure last minute passage in the compartment with the assistance of his friend, Signor Bianchi, one of the directors of the train line who is also making the trip. Some of the first class passengers seem concerned about Poirot’s presence on the train. At least one of them has reason to be concerned, as later, another first class passenger, who earlier in the trip asked Poirot to provide protection for him due to several death threats, is found murdered in his stateroom by multiple stabbings. At the time the victim is found, the train is unexpectedly stopped and delayed due to snow in remote Yugoslavia, which may be problematic for the murderer in getting away now that Poirot is on the case, which he is doing as a favor to …
Opulent, Elegant and lavish production.
One of the most famous of Dame Agatha Christie’s novels. This is a glorious, beautifully directed, star studded production. I will be honest and say it took me a long time to appreciate just how good a film this actually is.
The format and layout of the film works tremendously well, the dark and twisted kidnap and killing story at the beginning sets the tone well, it hits hard, and makes the end of the film all the more engaging and believable.
The film looks sensational, it is a beautiful production the scenery throughout is lavish, a true feast for the eyes. From the bright sunny beginning, to the dark, bleak and snowy scene of the murder. The film seems to get intentionally darker as it progresses. The costumes are glorious, Jacqueline Bisset especially gets to wear some wonderful outfits.
Albert Finney is good in the part, he certainly looks the part, when I read the book he is exactly how I visualise him. He is wonderfully theatrical, and as Ustinov definitely suits the flavour of Death on the Nile, so does Finney here.
The characterisations aside from Poirot are expertly brought to life, some glorious performances, Lauren Bacall and Wendy Hillier are sensational in their roles, how well the cast bring to life the class system of 1930, it really was a different world. Sir John Gielgud is tremendous as stiff upper lipped Beddoes, and plaudits also to Richard Widmark who makes Mr Ratchett as vile as possible.